Nigeria’s premiere port, the Lagos Port Complex (LPC), Apapa on Friday hosted a one-day stakeholders’ awareness and enlightenment programme on control of the Ebola virus disease.
The enlightenment programme, held in conjunction with the Port Health Services, was to ensure that the port, which is the first point of entry for seafarers and goods coming into the country, does not become a gateway for the deadly virus.
Speaking at the event held at the LPC Safety, Information and Operation Centre, the Port Manager, Hajia Aisha Ali-Ibrahim, said, “Ebola has sprang up again in a country not too far from us and we need to be proactive and that is why LPC decided to do this awareness on the sanitization of this disease for stakeholders on how we can prevent and to also prepare your minds and we will appreciate your cooperation because you are important to us.
“Lagos Port Complex decided to set aside today as a medical day for us to enlighten stakeholders and we have brought the experts on health services to let us know the steps to carry out to prevent this communicable disease and I want you all to take everything you learn here and pass it on to everyone in your various organisations.”
Also speaking at the event, the port’s Head of Medical Services, Chinwe Nwokolo, said, “We don’t have to wait for this virus to come into our country; everything humanly possible should be done to stop it. We have to imbibe the necessary precautions done to stop the virus from infecting people the first time it came into Lagos.”
President, Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO), Chief Remi Ogungbemi urged the port management to ensure it carries the awareness campaign to the doorsteps of truck drivers.
“The truck drivers move on the road day and night without properly taking care of themselves. They do not take their baths everyday due to their type of job.
“They are to be taught on the rudiments of this virus because some of them don’t even know what it is and how they can be infected.” Ogungbemi said.
Various stakeholders including the representatives of port terminal operators; the Nigeria Police Force Maritime Command; Port Health Service; Nigeria Customs Service; and truck operators participated in the enlightenment programme.